EskimoJoe wrote with a link to an AP article about progress in the development of geothermal energy. A Swiss company is competing with another in Australia to be the first to commercially develop a geothermal power plant. The concept is simple to understand: earth's core heat transforms water into steam, which in turn causes a turbine to revolve. The potential, though, is enormous. "Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S."